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Dave Mann, founder of the upstart Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Festival, is trying his hand at running a venue.
Last week Mann announced via Facebook that he and partner Rachel Eisley—-“Chief Curator of Art and Accoutrements [sic]”—-are planning to launch an all-ages space in an underutilized room in the Old Dominion Brewhouse at 1219 9th St. NW. According to Mann, the restaurant’s owner, Hanny Chan, has offered to lend them the 2,000-square foot, 240-standing capacity room three nights a week for a cut of the door proceeds. (Chan has not returned my request for comment.) The venue is called 9th & Beats.
Opening weekend kicks off Dec. 13 with a show from teen band/City Paper cover stars The Black Sparks. Friday Dec. 14, Mann has scheduled a comedy show with local comic Seaton Smith. Dec. 15 is still in the works. Eisley, meanwhile, is planning to book rotating exhibitions in the space. In an email, she says she wants to transform the room into something more conducive to visual arts.
A physical transformation may be necessary: At the moment, the room looks like a suburban-style restaurant dining room replete with televisions. (See a picture after the jump.)
So, an all-ages venue in a brewhouse? Mann doesn’t think that will present a problem. “ODB serves my favorite root beer of all time,” he writes via email. He and Eisley also have plans to offer nonalcoholic “mocktails” at a bar inside the room. Thursday bookings will be kid-friendly, too: “Since 9th & Beats is going to be an all-ages venue, I’d like to feature bands who are young and don’t get the chance to play the bar scene because of the age restrictions,” Mann writes.
He says he’s merely borrowing a page from Ian MacKaye‘s book. “Thursday nights will be paying homage to what most people know about Washington D.C.’s music scene … I’m talking about the incredible ethos that Ian MacKaye … has had from Day One,” he writes. “Provide a space for everyone … and make the door cover cheap so everyone can afford to check out the show.”
This isn’t Mann’s first time at the rodeo: He previously booked shows at several D.C. restaurants, including Dynasty and the now-shuttered Bella Cafe, and the October 2012 iteration of his Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Festival spread across 12 venues from the U Street corridor to Comet Ping Pong. Mann has no shortage of critics who accuse him—-often in City Paper comments—-of running sloppy shows. Yet Mann is approaching this new project with characteristic enthusiasm. A status update on the venue’s already bustling Facebook page reads, “Dave apologizes for sending out so many messages, but he is pretty excited about this new venue (duh!).”
9th & Beats also has a Twitter feed. Mann says he plans to set up a 9th & Beats website in the coming weeks.
Photo courtesy Dave Mann